“Squish, squash.” I was walking gingerly on a soft, spongy carpet of sphagnum moss in a northern Vermont bog. Magenta blossoms decorated the sheep laurel shrubs that lined the edge of the open wetland – beyond them the pointed spires of balsam fir and black spruce reached towards the sky. Ahead of me, the white tufts at the ends of cotton grass waved in the breeze. I took another step. There was a sucking sound, and a cold, wet feeling as my right foot suddenly sank a couple of feet into the bog. It was challenging to get it out without falling in entirely, but I finally extricated my muddy boot and vowed to buy some high rubber boots for future wetland exploration. » Continue Reading.
If you’re tired of hearing about new invasive forest pests, I’m right there with you. Seems they arrive at an ever-increasing pace, and the harm potential ratchets up with each newcomer. At this rate maybe we’ll get a wood-boring beetle whose larvae explode, which would put things in perspective. As distasteful as it is to peer at the cast of ugly new characters, it’s better to know what we’re up against.
Novel pests put everyone on a steep learning curve. For the species below, key questions remain unanswered, and some of what we “know” will undoubtedly be proven wrong. Still, it’s worth the effort to take stock of the near-term threats to our woodlands. » Continue Reading.
Imagine for a moment that you travel on all fours like other self-respecting quadrupeds. Extend your imagination yet a little more, and with it your body, so that a large dome-shaped shell-like structure extends out to cover you in all directions.
From above, a predator would see only a disk with a snug fit to the ground on all sides. Now shrink dramatically and move into the nearest fast-flowing stream: you are well on your way to becoming a water penny beetle larva. » Continue Reading.
The 2019 Great Adirondack Moose Festival in Indian Lake, is set for the weekend of September 28 and 29, 2019.
Visitors to the Indian Lake region for the Moose Festival can expect programs, games, contests, exhibitions, guided tours, shopping – all in the theme of the moose. » Continue Reading.
This summer the Warren County Soil & Water Conservation District installed a demonstration market farm plot at SUNY Adirondack to promote soil conservation practices in the Lake Champlain Watershed.
The District was awarded funding through the Lake Champlain Basin Program’s Small Education and Outreach Grant to create the demonstration plot and to host a series of workshops on market farms and soil health. » Continue Reading.
While most plants respond to the shorter days of late summer by starting to wind down their business for the season, goldenrod is a “short-day” plant, the kind that is stimulated to bloom by dwindling daylight. It’s a perennial in the aster family, and is widespread across North America. Continent-wide, we have something on the order of 130 species of goldenrod in the genus Solidago.
As one of the most abundant blooms of late summer and autumn, this native wildflower is for many pollinators, including numerous bee species, a vital source of nectar as well as of nutritious pollen. Unfortunately, this latter item has given goldenrod a black eye among many allergy sufferers. » Continue Reading.
“Huge global extinction risk.” “Plummeting insect numbers threaten collapse of nature.” “Insects are dying off at a scary rate.” And those were just the headlines on online articles from New Scientist, The Guardian, and Fortune.
Whew. » Continue Reading.
They did their best to follow the cardinal rule of middle school social interaction – thou shalt not appear “uncool” by expressing interest in anything whatsoever that an adult is asking of you – but the salamanders exposed the chinks in their armor. Crouched low over small wooden boards we’d set out to mimic the rotting logs that red-backeds prefer, the students murmured with excitement. » Continue Reading.
The 2019 North American Invasive Species Management Association (NAISMA) conference has been set for September 30th through October 3rd, in Saratoga Springs. Conference sessions, presentations, and workshops will bridge the geographic divide between West to East and North to South, connecting terrestrial and aquatic invasive species management, research, policy, and outreach initiatives and opportunities across North America. » Continue Reading.
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is encouraging New York pool owners to participate in the Division of Lands and Forests’ annual Asian Longhorned Beetle Swimming Pool Survey during the month of August.
This is the time of year when Asian longhorned beetles (ALB) emerge as adults and are most active outside of their host tree. The goal of the survey is to look for and find these exotic, invasive beetles before they can cause serious damage to our forests and street trees. » Continue Reading.
If there’s one place you’d expect to see a sandpiper, it’s on the sand. However, there is one member of this family of shorebirds that prefers streamside to surfside.
Almost any time you go for a paddle, you are likely to see small brown birds skimming low across the water with stiff, rapid wingbeats. As they walk along a branch or log, or a muddy stretch of shore, they have a characteristic rear-end bob that never quits. In flight, their calls are an ascending ‘weet-weet-weet.” » Continue Reading.
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced that they are proposing several regulatory changes in an effort to protect New York’s wild deer and moose from Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD).
CWD is a fatal and untreatable nervous-system disease affects deer, elk, and moose and is believed to be caused by abnormally shaped proteins called prions. » Continue Reading.
During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the use of feathers in women’s hats was all the rage.
To meet fashion industry demand for their elegant plumage, several North American bird species (e.g. egrets, herons) were hunted to near-extinction. » Continue Reading.
According to a press release issued by DEC, on July 28th, a motorist called DEC to report that he had struck a bear cub on Route 3 in the town of Franklin.
ECO James Cranker reported that he responded and located the cub in a tree alongside the busy highway. The cub seemed dazed and was favoring an injured front leg. ECO Cranker said he followed the bear a short distance into the woods, while being alert for the presence of an adult bear in the vicinity. » Continue Reading.
After a passing shower, when the sun comes out again, I often see a rainbow in the east behind my house, arching over the trees on the hilltop. Ancient peoples were awed by these multi-colored arcs in the sky and came up with a variety of explanations.
To the Norse, a rainbow was a bridge connecting Earth with the home of the gods that could only be used by warriors killed in battle. In Japan, rainbows were the paths upon which the dead could return to earth. In Hindu mythology, Indra, the god of thunder and war, uses a rainbow as an archer’s bow to shoot arrows of lightning. » Continue Reading.